Dear Mummy, over the Christmas break we spent our time on Hayling Island in Hampshire with my Grandparents. We were very fortunate with the weather as it was bright, sunny and crisp. The perfect day for a winters walk.
After stuffing ourselves silly on Boxing Day we decided to burn off the extra calories and excess energy by taking a brisk walk along the Hampshire coast. Hayling Island beach isn’t a fine sandy beach. It’s a mixture of pebbles and shingle, sand and seaweed. Perfect for discovering hidden gems of shells and other artefacts that get washed up from the Solent.
The Solent is a large shipping channel which serves the busy ports of Portsmouth and Southampton, so we can often see shipping containers, sailing boats and wind surfers out on the horizon. The shoreline is lined with lovely beach huts, their BBQs and doors open on Boxing Day welcoming down city folk who have come to Hayling Island for the Christmas break.
While strolling along the shore and peacefully reflecting on resolutions our silence was broken by a large group of ‘mad men’ donned in swimming trunks and Santa hats. The women had more sense covering themselves in wetsuits to protect themselves from the freezing Atlantic water. We stopped in disbelief, surely these guys weren’t going in the water?!? Oh yes they were.
We were wrapped up with hats, gloves and scarfs watching people run into the sea. Hopping and skipping, dodging sharp shingle and stones and plunging into the dark, cold water. Eeeeek! It made us cold watching them!
It’s definitely a Boxing Day we will remember for a long time. So, why did they do it? A family tradition or health benefits? Who knows, we didn’t stop long enough to ask them. It was far too cold for us!
Love Bella x